• Women’s World Cup organizers in Canada are claiming attendance records for this year’s tournament. If you take into account that 30 of the 36 group-stage games were part of doubleheaders, though, and thus had only one ticket sold for both games, ticket sales drop under 16,000 per match (through the round of 16). While those numbers will rise through the end of the tournament, the per-game actual attendance will be the lowest since 2003, when the tournament was held in the U.S. on short notice because of a SARS outbreak in China.

 

• Minnesota United had high hopes after signing MLS veteran midfielder Jonny Steele in the offseason, but after an underwhelming few games in the starting lineup, he has seemingly faded out of the team’s plans. He didn’t train with the team last week and wasn’t even on the bench for the final spring-season home game. United’s outside midfield depth was a strong point coming into the season, but Steele’s fall from favor, the sale of Miguel Ibarra and a season-ending injury to Jamie Watson all are contributing to make Minnesota look a bit thin on the wing.

 

• The United States has any number of exciting young candidates for the men’s national team, but for this summer’s Gold Cup, coach Jürgen Klinsmann is going with the tried and true. Only six of the players on his 23-man roster are different from last year’s World Cup roster, and three of those changes were because of injuries or retirements. It’s a sign that Klinsmann’s famous squad experimentations are done, at least for one summer — and that anything other than a Gold Cup trophy will be a disappointment.

 

• No team other than Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Uruguay has won Copa America, South America’s international tournament, since 1979. With Brazil not its usual invincible self and Uruguay out, though, it could open the door for someone else — perhaps host Chile, which beat Uruguay in the quarterfinals and is favored in its semifinal against Peru. The Chileans, led this year by Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez, haven’t even reached the final since 1987; it would be nice to see someone other than the usual suspects take the crown.